Daphne has also started throwing little temper tantrums – sometimes out of frustration after too many failed standing attempts, and sometimes when she’s really tired. It’s pretty funny. She stiffens her fat little arms and legs. She starts fake crying (sort of like a forced shudder) then works her way into a full blown yell. If she’s really into it, she’ll arch her back and flail and no amount of appeasement will satisfy her. I’m sure I will not find this quite as funny in a few years when it happens at the grocery store, or the park, or anywhere I feel the judging eyes of other mothers.
Recently, we had an unreasonable customer who verbally accosted my non-confrontational, happy-go-lucky husband. In short this customer was a kiddo whose temper tantrums had grown to adult proportions. After a decade of plumbing, Devin had never run across a situation he couldn’t remedy and no one had ever insulted his character or professionalism. This guy’s words stung. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service, so naturally, Devin tried to remedy the situation like a lot of parents do – giving the kiddo whatever will make him shut up so people will stop staring. But no amount of appeasement satisfied him.
The problem with appeasing a bratty kid is that even if the appeasement works, the kid is still a brat. These kids grow up to be the adults hurling insults at the wait staff, the nanny, the receptionist, or the plumber. Certainly there are times when frustration or even anger are justified, but name-calling and bullying are always inappropriate.
This crappy customer ignited my mama bear instinct. I’m angry that he would treat the father of my daughter that way, but even more than that, I feel resolved. Our daughter, and all our future kiddos will not behave that way. Sure they might try it. There may be tantrums over toys, sugar cereal, or whatever unfair action one of us inflicts on them. We will NOT give in. If I have to leave the store before my shopping is finished or haul a kicking and screaming kiddo out over my shoulder so be it. In this family we act respectable and we treat people respectfully. And in our business we don’t hire or work for jerks.